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Tag: Find of the Month

Archives Find of the Month: 1907 Jail Conditions

In March 1907, Seattle’s Unitarian Club investigated the conditions at the city jail and sent a letter to the City Council outlining their findings. While the visitors approved of the building’s cleanliness and the prisoners’ food, they did emphatically state that “the male prisoners working on the chain gang…should not be compelled to sleep on […]

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Archives Find of the Month: Dance Marathons

Seattle’s first and only dance marathon began on July 23, 1928, at the city’s armory. At these events, contestants competed for cash prizes by dancing for days at a time, with only short rest breaks each hour. As the days went on and the contestants became more and more exhausted, they struggled simply to stay […]

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Archives Find of the Month: Alaskan Way Viaduct

Seattle’s citizenry was generally enthusiastic about building the new Alaskan Way Viaduct. However, its construction disrupted normal life in the work zone. In 1950, Ivar Haglund wrote to the city’s traffic engineer complaining that construction-related lane closures on Alaskan Way were limiting access to businesses on the water side of the street, leaving them no […]

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Archives Find of the Month – November 2011

Spanish-American War veterans One of Seattle’s earliest celebrations of its veterans came in 1899 upon the return of the First Washington Volunteer Regiment from the Spanish-American War. The 1200 volunteers fought around Manila for six months, with 129 killed and wounded. According to a City Council resolution, the soldiers “won a world wide reputation for […]

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Archives Find of the Month – October 2011

Chinese Exclusion Act In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which suspended most immigration from China for ten years and blocked Chinese residents from becoming citizens. During the difficult economic period of the mid-1880s, Chinese workers were seen as taking the jobs of white residents. Resentment spilled over into riots, as mobs first […]

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Archives Find of the Month – September 2011

 A regular feature highlighting interesting, important, and odd items from the Seattle Municipal Archives’  collection, along with the stories they tell. Air parks In the 1940s, there was discussion of building one or more “air parks” in Seattle. Commercial traffic had Sea-Tac Airport, which opened in 1944 and had a civilian terminal by 1949. Meanwhile, private […]

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